Wednesday, January 20, 2010

To buy or not to Buy

One of my absolute favorite things about Tapestry of Grace is the fact that we are using actual books. Even for lower grammar students (aprox. K-3) there are no "readers". My girls aren't reading random excerpts, but instead, complete stories. I have been pleased with the choices. Highlights from year 2 unit 2 have been - -
Children's' Shakespeare
Mother Goose (that took me by surprise; my 1st grader has enjoyed reading all of the poems in an over-the-top, animated way)
I, Juan de Pareja
Trial and Triumph

As I finish up a nine week unit my husband and I begin the "to buy or not to buy" discussions. Using real books is an educational joy and a financial strain. We live in a college town and have decent access to many of the books that are needed. Tapestry is purposefully designed to allow for book substitutions. In fact, the teacher's manual includes library call numbers, so that you do not have to work at finding similar books. That fact alone might lead you to ask, "what's the debate all about? Borrow the books and save some money." And you are right . . .I think.

My girls will reread books. My first grader has recently realized that she is actually reading. She has enjoyed returning to books from earlier in the year. She can measure her progress. She knows that she is reading something that was far too daunting in August. It is encouraging to her. My third grader is a devoted reader. The library is not large enough for her voracious literary appetite. A pile of great books seems like a reasonable investment.

So, here I am again. Weighing the pros and cons of purchasing verses borrowing.

purchase: creates a storage problem, means I once again wait for __________(random household item that, while not necessary, sure would be nice), means that if one child is sick and I don't make it to the library school can go on, and allows for the silly joy that comes with a pile of new books

borrowing: involves some extra work on my part, hello cute little house thingy that I keep not buying, can cause a set back if I am unable to make it to the library, teaches my children that they do not have to own every single thing

No matter the outcome of this debate, I can homeschool two children for half the price of sending one to a private school.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A New Room for a New Year

This fall we were able to finish our basement. What an improvement that has made in the functioning of our home. We now have a space devoted to school.

The is plenty of natural light. The black wall that you can see in the picture is a magnetic chalkboard. That wall is worth every coat of paint that it took to make it magnetic. The other huge improvement for us is the space around the table.

Join us as we set sail for the new world

We are packing our bags, filling our minds and generally preparing for a trip to the new world. Our boat sets sail in two weeks. Won't you join us?

Seriously, if you have considered using Tapestry of Grace, now is a good time to check it out. The free three week trial includes everything. Very few curricula offer such an in depth preview. We are finishing up week 18 this week. So, I plan to start week 20 January 25. Take some time to look over the sample materials. Pick up a few books from the library and join us on this learning adventure.